Mika Brzezinski was not on the air Thursday, a day after she caused a ruckus by referring to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as a "butt boy." Her Morning Joe co-host—and husband—Joe Scarborough said Brzezinski was "off with her family, a long-planned family event," reports Mediaite. Her absence, though, seems to have only intensified the scrutiny on her over the remark seen as an anti-gay slur. President Trump, who has a history of enmity with the MSNBC hosts, joined the critics. Details:
- Trump: "If it was a Conservative that said what 'crazed' Mika Brzezinski stated on her show yesterday, using a certain horrible term, that person would be banned permanently from television," the president wrote. "She will probably be given a pass, despite their terrible ratings." Trump also praised Richard Grenell, the ambassador to Germany, "for having the courage to take this horrible issue on!"
- Grenell: The ambassador, who is gay, said Brzezinski's initial reponse to the controversy, in which she acknowledged a "SUPER BAD choice of words," didn't cut it. "I don’t see that you’ve actually apologized to gays?" he wrote. "Your words demean, mock and therefore try to control whole groups by minimizing our humanity."
- A late bleep: On Wednesday, while discussing Pompeo's reluctance to blame Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, Brzezinski said this: "Are the pathetic deflections that we just heard when he appeared on Fox & Friends—is that a patriot speaking? Or a wannabe dictator’s butt boy? I’m dead serious. I’m asking: Are these the words of a patriot?” Watch it here. The bleep comes too late.
- More needed? Media reporter David Folkenflik thinks Brzezinski will have to address the controversy. "This is bad," he tweeted. "Will require more from Brzezinski than a Twitterpology."
- Unlikely defender: Fox News may be the polar opposite of MSNBC, but the Washington Post notes that Fox's Sean Hannity was among the few defending Brzezinski. He criticized her "pretty bad choice of words" but said that he's not the "thought police" and that he believed her apology to be sincere. "People do want to destroy her career over this," he said. "This is a problem we have in all of media.”
- From the right: Columnist Adriana Cohen wonders where the outcry is on the left for Brzezinski to be fired. "The double standards are endless," she writes at the Boston Herald, citing Kevin Hart and Roseanne Barr.
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